As a Digital Coach at Google and CEO of her own empowering online hub for women, Ann-Marie Gilbert believes passionately that everyone has the ability to become their own success story, and the digital world is a powerful avenue in which to build it.
In addition to graduating from The Marketing Academy, and delivering masterclasses on marketing and business as a Google representative, Ann-Marie’s dedication to supporting others is exemplified by Pink Moods, the company she founded in 2015.
Pink Moods is an online community full of self-empowering tools and resources to inspire women to get the most out of life and develop resilience to stress, an issue that they are 33% more susceptible than males when at work.
We spoke to Annie about how important it is for women to have a place to turn to online, and how the digital world is giving people the voice, inspiration and motivation to tackle problems and build confidence.
KW: Where do you find motivation and inspiration in the digital world?
Ann-Marie: I am motivated by the power of digital to be an enabler in the wellness space and how it gives people a voice.
Handled correctly and with anonymity (where required), there is an opportunity to empower people to speak up about stresses with confidence and conviction. The recent #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns demonstrate the extent of some of the underground issues now coming to the fore because of this.
KW: What impact has the digital world had on wellbeing? And how can we be better at empowering one another online?
Ann-Marie: The digital world is a double-edged sword. Whilst it has the power for good it also can accentuate mental health issues if placed in the wrong media channels or hands. We have all seen vulnerable people attacked at some stage through the open aspect of social media.
We can help to bridge this gap by providing access to specialist sites that encourage similar mindsets to engage with one another, as well as have experts support people with issues such as stress or confidence within that space.
KW: What inspired you to start Pink Moods?
Ann-Marie: I have always been an advocate for others to rise, to speak up and to have confidence. I had an experience early in my career whereby myself and the rest of the female staff were treated badly in the workplace. It was damaging to watch and to be a part of. The HR was either not really there or not in the best interests to speak to.
I felt something needed to be done to help empower women to rise and to speak up in these sort of scenarios. I also saw a 900 per cent rise in female empowerment searches and, after over a year of research, I could see a gap emerging.
KW: What digital tools, sources and/or habits would you recommend to someone looking to improve their wellbeing?
Ann-Marie: I would recommend finding a community of shared interests. We have an anonymous one on Pink Moods, as well as a Facebook group that posts ideas, videos and community tips for women to challenge their mindsets daily.
It is important to hear from experts through the likes of accessible, reliable, relevant, bite-sized videos. There are also more practical ways of dealing with issues such as one-to-one webinar coaching or phone calls.
I would also recommend a structured approach with planners and ebooks that take you on a journey to help resolve whatever issue you are faced with in a formulaic way. With Pink Moods, we try to make our content fun and easily accessible via a mood search feature that helps you find content based on your current mindset.
KW: Why is it so important for people to have these empowering resources and support networks online?
Ann-Marie: The importance of online access is now paramount as it is where a huge majority of people spend an important proportion of their lives.
To have a safe house for women to speak up (and in the future men, too) is critical to dealing with issues that may otherwise become buried. If people feel they have nowhere to go, these issues can become bigger problems later down the line, as we have seen with the ramifications of #MeToo.
Such communities and networks are also helpful for building up confidence and due to their 24/7 availability.
KW: How has technology changed/shaped what you do/how you live your life? And what change has had the biggest influence?
Ann-Marie: Working in the tech space for Google’s digital garages, I can see first hand the impact of tech on society. From online shopping to banking, digital media is now a way of life rather than an add on.
For myself, aside from working in this space and having a business in it too, I privately use social media to maintain many contacts who are now spread widely due to family, work commitments etc. It offers a great chance to keep in touch.
KW: In your opinion and experience, what are the key ingredients to building relationships?
Ann-Marie: I firmly believe that building relationships is the reason we are here! We are not meant to be islands. I have the philosophy of paying it forward, ingrained in karma. If you treat others well this will go full circle.
Basically, treat others well and everyone wins. Be honest, true and supportive of others and a team is created. And teams can be a great power for change.
KW: What has been the most important thing in your career? Something that was so important you wouldn’t be where are you today without it?
The most important thing is not one thing but one concern, and that is people. Without every person I have met I wouldn’t have had the journey that took me to where I am today. I am grateful to the bad people for the lessons they taught me, and to the good people for the opportunity to know them, learn from them and share with them.
KW: What advice would you give your younger self?
Ann-Marie: “Don’t rush, failure is hard but let it happen and embrace it as an opportunity to learn and evolve to the next level. Always know it all works out well in the end as every step forward is a step up!”
We hear so much about the negative consequences of social media, but the key thing to take away from our fascinating conversation with Ann-Marie Gilbert is the digital world ‘s huge potential to spread positivity and bring people closer together.
Pink Moods and Annie’s empowering speaking events encourage you to “challenge your mindset” and inspire positive changes in your own life as well as of those around you. As she mentioned in our interview: “Building relationships is the very reason why we are here,” and if everyone had her enthusiasm to inspire and empower, even just one digital tool at a time, those connections can be found easier and much quicker than ever before.
So our challenge to you is to be the change you want to see. Let’s continue encouraging women to stand up and be heard. Let’s be the people we want to learn from and share with. After all, “we are not islands.”
Want to learn more? Access our blog on mental health and social media.